HCCC alumnus produces 3-D printed PPE for health care workers battling COVID-19

Abderahim Salhi
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Abderahim Salhi

Hudson County Community College (HCCC) alumnus Abderahim Salhi, who was recently named a 2020 recipient of the nationally prestigious Goldwater Scholarship, has created 3-D-printed face shields for local health care centers inundated with personal protective equipment shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are inspired by and extremely proud of Abderahim. He is an exceptional student who is dedicated to improving the lives of Hudson County residents,” said HCCC President Dr. Chris Reber.

Salhi said he was compelled to provide solutions for health care workers who face a high risk of infection while treating hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

“I wish I was a nurse on the front lines helping our fellow citizens during this crisis. We all have to come together to fight this enemy,” Mr. Salhi said, urging everyone to unite and stay home to flatten the curve of the pandemic.

An Algerian immigrant, Salhi is the first student in HCCC history to be named a Goldwater Scholar, and only the second New Jersey community college student ever to become a Goldwater Scholar. He was one of 396 students chosen for the scholarship from nearly 5,000 applicants nationwide. The majority of the 2020 Goldwater Scholars are from four-year colleges.

He received his Associate in Science degree in Computer Science from HCCC in May of 2019 and is currently working on his second degree at HCCC, an Associate in Science degree in Mathematics. His plans include earning a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Mathematics and being part of a world-class academic research lab.

He continues to engage in the college’s campus life, appearing recently in a podcast promoting Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and HCCC’s STEM Club. He is currently serving his one-year term as the Student Alumni Representative to the Board of Trustees. Last fall, he was accepted into the NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Community College Aerospace Scholar program.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship is considered the premier award in Mathematics, Science, and Engineering. The federally endowed award was established by Congress in 1986 to serve as a living memorial to honor the lifetime work of U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona.

Each year, the foundation identifies and supports full-time, matriculated college sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming the nation’s next generation of leaders in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering research. Recipients demonstrate a passion for research and exhibit the creative spark. Awardees receive up to $7,500 per year.